Game #133 Anibal Sanchez wants to start the weekend on the right note!

Photo by Lynn G. for TalkNats

Tonight is the opener of this 3-game weekend series against the Miami Marlins who are the last team the Nats will face that are under .500 for the remaining 27 games on the schedule unless of course the Mets get swept this weekend then they would arrive on Monday below .500.  The Nats learned a lesson on Tuesday about how you approach a struggling team because they were shocked in a 2-0 game against the Orioles (.331 winning percentage) who put dysfunction on display once again with a dugout heated argument between coach and player. Losing sucks, but then again the Marlins are used to it by now as they have guaranteed themselves a 10th consecutive losing season.

The Marlins enter on a high note after a walk-off win last night in a 12-inning marathon game that was inexplicably scheduled as a night game by the Marlins as the home team. A week ago the Nats showed that sleep deprivation can actually fuel a team, but usually it is not a good thing.  The Marlins flight arrived at 3:06am at Dulles Airport which put them at their hotel at 4AM. They fortunately missed the Friday morning D.C. rush hour traffic and should get 8 hours sleep since the Nats have them scheduled for a night game with late BP. Could you imagine if the Nats scheduled a day game?

It is Margaritaville night at the ballpark, and Anibal Sanchez is on the mound facing his old team. Sanchez lives in Miami in the off-season and has been to Key West and knows all about “tourists covered in oil” and tattoos and margaritas as well as staying all season. The Nats players had a private party with an 80’s themed party last night.

The Marlins are pitching the right-handed Elieser Hernandez who has a 6.38 ERA on the road this season in seven games and has struggled all season against lefty batters. Anthony Rendon is 4-7 against him with 2 home runs.

Speaking of motivations and September callups, Michael Taylor and Wilmer Difo are turning it on for their minor league teams. Taylor last night was 4-4 with four doubles and displayed his new and improved short swing, and Wilmer Difo was 5-5 with a triple, two doubles, and 5 RBIs. Just as we were wondering if either player would make the callup roster in September, both players raised their hands to show general manager Mike Rizzo and manager Dave Martinez that they are worthy. Ryan Zimmerman was taken off of the Potomac Nationals roster as he has finished his rehab assignment, and the only question remains is whether Zim joins the Nats tonight or is inactive until Sunday when he can be added without a corresponding roster move. Spencer Kieboom was returned to Harrisburg yesterday after his two games on the roster as the 25th man replacing Hunter Strickland who was on paternity leave.

Miami Marlins at Washington Nationals
Stadium:   Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.
1st Pitch:  7:05 pm EDT
TV: MASN2, FOX Sports Florida, MLB.TV
Nats Radio: 106.7 FM The Fan; SiriusXM® ( Streaming Internet 869)

Line-up subject to change (without notice):

Trea Turner – SS
Gerardo Parra – RF
Anthony Rendon – 3B
Juan Soto – LF
Asdrúbal Cabrera – 2B
Matt Adams – 1B
Kurt Suzuki – C
Victor Robles – CF
Aníbal Sánchez – RHP

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